Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Virginia Church Carry Ban

One of the proposed bills (HB 106) in the Virginia legislature repeals both the restaurant carry ban and the ban on carrying a concealed handgun at a house of worship where services are occurring "without good and sufficient reason."

When I teach my legal seminars, I am up front about the church carry ban. I have no idea what constitutes a "good and sufficient reason." Neither does anybody else.

I strongly suspect that this is a variation of the "Black Codes" that Uncle and Thirdpower are highlighting. The Black Codes kept Blacks disarmed in the South after Reconstruction faded away. Georgia was one of the first states to offer a handgun carry permit - an excellent way to restrict who was carrying based on race. Bans on carrying to church grew out of the fact that once Blacks had guns, the Klan wanted a place where Blacks could be assembled and disarmed.

I've wanted to find the legislative history on this statute for a while and write a law review article on how its discriminatory nature makes it unconstitutional. I'd be happy if they just repealed it instead.

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